The Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) held its annual pre-season basketball coaches press conference in Wichita this morning. The pre-season coaches poll was released and the Seward County Community College menís basketball team received a No. 6 ranking. The Saints are under the guidance of first year head coach Bryan Zollinger, a former player and coach at SCCC, who will take the reigns of a Saintsí program that has finished in the top two of the conference in seven of the last 10 years. Zollinger comes to SCCC after spending 10 seasons as the head menís basketball coach at College of Eastern Utah.

Seward County is going to be led by five sophomores who return 37 percent of the Saintsí offense from 2006-2007. Last season, Seward County finished with a 17-14 overall record and made an appearance at the NJCAA Region VI Tournament Quarterfinals in Wichita.

The Saints return four players who all saw significant time as starters last season, including 6-foot-1-inch guard Nick Burns (8.2 ppg., 4.6 apg., 4.1 rpg.), 6-foot-8-inch post Bryson Hampton (5.7 ppg., 4.6 rpg.), 6-foot-8-inch post Ervin Williams (8.3 ppg., 5.0 rpg.) and 6-foot-9-inch forward Darko Cohadarevic (9.5 ppg., 5.0 rpg.).

Burns is one of the top returning guards in the Jayhawk West Conference, after last season finishing fourth in the Region VI in assists per game. Burns scored in double-figures in 11 games and posted a career-high 23 points against Pratt C.C.

Williams started in six conference games and was one of the top rebounders for the Saints. He scored a career-high 20 points twice, and he scored 11 points with six rebounds in the Saints quarterfinal game against Barton County.

Cohadarevic will be one of the most highly recruited players in the Jayhawk Conference this season. The inside-outside Serbian missed a portion of the conference season last year due to injury, but was one of the top players for the Saints while he was in the line-up. He scored a personal-best 25 points with five 3-point field goals in a conference victory at home against Hutchinson C.C. last season.

2007-2008 Jayhawk West Conference Menís Basketball Pre-Season Poll
Rank Team (2006-2007 Record)
1. Hutchinson (23-8)
2. Dodge City (26-6)
3. Garden City (10-21)
4. Barton County (27-7)
5. Cloud County (24-9)
6. Seward County (17-14)
7. Pratt (24-8)
8. Butler (14-16)
9. Colby (7-23)